Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, Maine, United States

I'll be taking an 'unpaid leave of absence' from my job at the Global Network from December 15-March 15, 2020 in order to help my friend Lisa Savage on her campaign for the US Senate in Maine. I'll be back to GN after March 15.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

They create a failed state and call it freedom


  • Despite tweeting just last week that a $716 billion military budget was ‘crazy’, Donald Trump has reportedly reversed course and instead committed to the highest budget in history.

“It’s 750. Secretary Mattis secured that over lunch with the president,” an administration official told Politico, who first released the information, although an official announcement is yet to be made. It’s unclear what exactly changed Trump’s mind. He had been floating a 5% reduction in military spending for 2020, from the originally proposed (and already record-breaking) $733bn to $700bn – but Pentagon officials had told him on Friday that anything less was “a risk”, and could have “disastrous consequences”.

  • One key reason for the change in Trump's thinking could be the growing cost of maintaining the existing Pentagon war machine.  One example is the US Navy has lost the equivalent of 17 ships for operational duty this year due to maintenance backlogs and delays in repair, according to an analysis from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Add to that cost overruns for nuclear subs, destroyers, F-35 planes and the toll climate change is taking on Navy bases, like Norfolk in Virginia, that are presently sinking.  How will the government pay for these hefty increases?  The plan is to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Congresswoman-Elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has drafted a Green New Deal that fails to acknowledge the existence of the US military as an environmentally destructive force, and the military budget (over 60% of discretionary spending) as a potential source of revenue. A petition has been created to demand that she confront the Pentagon’s staggering global bootprint. The US military is the world's largest institutional consumer of fossil fuels and the largest source of greenhouse gasses. Almost 900 of the EPA's 1,300 Superfund sites are abandoned military bases, weapons-production facilities or weapons-testing sites.

  • The Bangor Daily News reported this week that the next Zumwalt 'stealth' destroyer to be 'christened' at Bath Iron Works in Maine will be the USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002).  Named after the Vietnam war-era president who hailed from Texas, the war ship will be christened in the spring.  LBJ was driven from office after serving one term because of his expansion of the Vietnam War.  LBJ is also believed to have been integrally involved in plans to assassinate President John F. Kennedy who he took over for after JFK was killed in Dallas.
  • America's puppet government in Ukraine has recognized Bandera followers (that collaborated with the Nazis and murdered hundreds of thousands of ethnic minorities including Poles, Jews, Czechs and Russians) as WAR VETERANS who will receive retirement benefits and other privileges from the government. We grieve for all the good people in Ukraine whose country has been overtaken by the dark forces.  We remember those in Ukraine and the former Soviet Union (27 million) who gave their lives fighting the Nazi invasion during WW2. Countries that support Ukraine's current regime are hypocrites pushing democracy and human rights over the cliff. 
 Bruce

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